Saudi Arabia - Thales, a global technology leader for the aerospace and transport sector, has signed a two-year maintenance contract with Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to maintain the signalling, telecommunication and electromechanical systems of the Kingdom’s North-South Railways project.
This contract also includes the transfer of knowledge to SAR national human capital teams, which is in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, the company said.
The Northern Train project in Saudi Arabia is the longest railway in the world equipped with state-of-the-art technology signalling and communications systems, the ETCS Level 2. The project, currently in operation, involved the construction of 2,400 km of track, sidings, yards, depots, stations and administrative facilities of the two lines. SAR transports passengers from the capital city of Riyadh to Qurrayat in northern Saudi Arabia, in addition to the heavy transport of minerals such as raw phosphates and bauxite from the Wa’ad Al-Shamal phosphate mine.
The maintenance activities will be performed by Thales’ trained engineers and technicians located across eight maintenance bases situated along the railway line.
Thales will work with Buraidah’s Saudi Railway Polytechnic to train 1,500 students to obtain vocational qualifications.
“This will allow SAR maintenance teams to gradually and efficiently take over the maintenance activities by the end of the two-year contract,” the company said.
Jean-Yves Tolot, country director of Thales in Saudi Arabia, said: “Throughout its historic presence in the Kingdom, the group has developed very strong cooperation with local industries and universities to speed up the transfer of knowledge, know-how and capabilities. In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP), this project further illustrates Thales’ commitment to ensure the SAR maintenance [personnel] are able to continue in their efforts long after our contract expires, and contribute toward the Kingdom’s success.” He added: “This contract win further solidifies our footprint in the Kingdom. Along with our partners we have established a solid industrial network to provide maintenance and services to our customers in the Kingdom.” In the Kingdom, Thales provides maintenance services to the Al-Mashaer Al-Mugaddassah Makkah Metro (MMMP) and Saudi Arabian Airlines.
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